Two U.S. sailors, currently being held by Japanese authorities, have been accused of raping a young woman while she was walking home Tuesday morning shortly after midnight. The latest allegation of rape will only further intensify the protests that are taking place against the U.S. military presence on the island off the southern coast of Japan.
The two sailors Skyler Dozier Walker and Christopher Browning are both 23 years of age. The victim, following the rape, identified both sailors at an off base housing complex. Authorities said the two men had been drinking prior to allegedly attacking the young woman.
This case comes at an inopportune time, as relations between the U.S. military in Okinawa and the residents of the island are strained. The island has over fifty percent of all the U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan. In all, there are more than 47,000 U.S. military service men and women stationed in Japan.
The resentment the locals in Okinawa have held for years towards the military from the U.S. turned to anger recently when 12 Osprey aircraft were deployed at a military bases in Futenma. The city is one of the more densely populated cities on the island.
The U.S. ambassador to Japan, John Roos said the government of the U.S. was very concerned with the recent allegations that have taken place regarding two service personnel of the U.S. He indicated that the U.S. was fully committed to cooperating with authorities in Japan. He said the allegations, because of being very serious in nature would be a top priority and would have the embassy’s full attention.